Was Mark Sainsbury responsible for this?

marksainsburyThe headline in this morning’s Sunday Star Times read “Personal Grievances at TVNZ Double”.

TVNZ spent almost quarter of a million dollars to settle a doubling in personal grievance cases in the past financial year.

The payments cover employment action taken by 10 staff and total $246,000 – up $182,150 on 2012, during which there were four settled personal grievances.

In 2011, TVNZ paid out $82,000 following four grievances, and in 2010 the figure was $86,250 following five complaints against the network.

Let’s crunch these numbers.  This equates, on average, to 4 people being paid $20,500 in 2010, 5 people being paid $17,250 in 2011, 4 people being paid 15,692.50 in 2012 and mysteriously, 8 people being paid $30,750 each in 2013.

That settlement trend was heading down until 2013, the year Seven Sharp replaced Close Up. One large, single settlement could easily bump up those numbers without creating any cause for concern over other issues of grievances at TVNZ.

Green Party broadcasting spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter, who provided the Sunday Star-Times with the information, said she was concerned about how the payments had “blown out”.

“The number of personal grievances has doubled [in the past year],” Genter said.

“And the value [of the payments] quadrupled on 2012, even though the number of personal grievances only doubled.

“Taking industrial action against an employer like TVNZ is probably one of the most stressful things that can happen to a worker. It takes a lot of time and effort and to find out that personal grievances have blown out in the last year is a concern.”

The soaring number and cost of personal grievances at TVNZ had her questioning what was happening at the broadcaster.

“It leads us to ask some questions about TVNZ HR processes,” she said. “As a Crown-owned company, they need to be setting an example and being a good employer. There is some concern that perhaps they are not quite living up to that.”

I’d suggest that someone looked at the numbers without giving any thought as to why they were as high as they were for 2013.  If this is the case, perhaps Genter, in her excitement, overlooked an even bigger issue.  Was this a form of golden handshake?

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • Harrison

    If it was, good on him. He was treated unfairly by TVNZ

  • Tania

    I hope Sainsbury did receive a big payout. He dedicated his best years to TVNZ and they treated him like rubbish.
    In the US, if the guy who wants David Letterman’s job when he retires, doesn’t get it, then he will get $5 million. How about that.

    • Tania

      PS: I had to laugh late last week when Toni said on Seven Sharp that TVNZ had been voted the best place to work. I know of a few people who don’t share that sentiment.

  • Clint

    Sounds like they’ve found the missing aircraft – ping signals have been held for max of 13 mins